Fabric shopping in NYC

In case you were wondering why things were a little quiet around here, I was in the Big Apple for a few days with my DD and adorable son-in-law.  Seriously, what is more fun than being in New York? Ostensibly, I was there to help foil a dresser for my yet-to-be-born-granddaughter, and also attend another baby shower that her other G’ma hosted in Philly. But really, it’s all about the fabric in the garment district, isn’t it? 😉

I was looking for a good (read “inexpensive”) source for interfacing, and a local sewing guru suggested I check out Metro Textiles at 265 West 37th. This place is a little hard to find – it is on the 9th floor and around to the back of the building – but is definitely worth a stop if you are shopping for bargains. The owner’s name is Kashi, and he is delightful and more than happy to help. I saw loads of fabrics that I COULD have bought, but I managed to stick (mostly) to my plan for checking out his interfacing prices and quality. A couple of pretty knits did sneak their way into my bag….but that is hardly worth mentioning. Hardly at all.

Who can visit NYC and NOT stop at Mood? It is my go-to place for best all-round fabric selection—they really do have everything. I am currently obsessed with Japanese selvedge denim, and after buying some in the LA Mood this summer, I had to make a similar purchase from the NY location. No, I haven’t sewn up the piece I bought in LA yet. So what’s your point? Fabrics need to rest after they have traveled around the world, and I thought the LA piece needed a companion from NY. Before being cut up into little pieces and re-assembled into something fantastic, which when you think about it must be quite a shocking experience. Even for denim.

Continuing on my selvedge denim obsession, I also stopped at A.K. Corp which is located at 257 West 39th, and bought another similar but different companion piece. It was MUCH cheaper than the denim I bought at Mood, still has the bound selvedge edge, and is a bit lighter weight and darker wash. It looks to me like the piece from Mood is woven with both indigo and natural threads, and the piece from A.K. Corp is comprised of only indigo threads. They are currently both in the laundry, and I am interested to see how they wash up so I can do a more thorough comparison.

I made a quick stop at the Paron Annex at 206 West 40th – they have some faaaaan-tastic bargains in their 50% off selection. But by this time both my DD and I were getting tired,  intermittently soaked by heavy rains, and we still had one more stop to pick up some silk charmeuse for a bridal accessory customer….which means we did not give Paron’s sufficient attention. But this place is a definite must-visit for the next trip.

Another thing I did not get done this trip was finding a good source for “findings”. Things like zippers and waistband stabilizer. There are so many sourcesto explore in New York….but I just couldn’t drag my eight-month pregnant DD around in the rain ALL day. Next time!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

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